Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate felt his side were good value for their 1-1 draw at Everton.
Boro took an eighth-minute lead through Gary O'Neil before former striker Yakubu claimed a 65th-minute equaliser for the home side.
Everton dominated possession throughout but the visitors were a constant threat on the break and stood firm to stretch their unbeaten league run to five matches.
"I think we were really good in the first half," Southgate told Sky Sports. "We had several openings, broke really well and got the goal.
"In the second half we didn't pass the ball well enough. We didn't keep the ball and we know with Everton it's going to be in the box and we'll have to deal with it.
"I'm a bit disappointed with how we performed in the second half but delighted with how we rolled our sleeves up.
"We weren't bullied, we stood up to the fight and on your travels, sometimes you've got to do that."
The hard-fought point took Boro back up to eighth position and leaves them well placed to launch a challenge for European qualification this season.
The Teessiders won 2-1 at Aston Villa last time out and will be hopeful of maintaining their impressive recent form with back-to-back home games against Bolton and Newcastle to come.
"We're unbeaten in four games on the road and five in all, which is as good a record as anyone in the league at the moment," Southgate added.
"We've got to build from there and take confidence from it because I think we're still scratching the surface with this young team of how far they can go.
"I think they're responding to everything I'm asking of them. They're growing in belief and in experience.
"When you come to places like this you've got to roll your sleeves up, it's always tough.
"We're just enjoying the challenge every week," he added.
"Everybody's aim is to get into the UEFA Champions League. That's unrealistic for us at the moment but we've got to keep growing year on year.
"But we're pleased with a return of 18 points up to now. We've got four points from two very difficult away games and we've now got two home games coming up."